An Eclaire Mystery

By Sophie Dunbar
Intrigue Press – 1998
ISBN: 1890768065

Mystery / Amateur Sleuth


Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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You remember Claire and Dan Claiborne in “BEHIND ECLAIRE’S DOORS?” Who could forget them!  I think someone compared them to Nick and Nora Charles in the “Thin Man,” but, I believe if Nick and Nora were to read the Eclarie series Nora would have a case of vapors and Nick would give us one of his comedic eye rolling, staggering takes.


First time readers will find in the first pages that this is not a typical mystery. Claire and Dan are the ultra perfect southern couple, perfect looks, perfect jobs, perfect sex life, it seems everything around them is perfect, perfect, perfect . . . except those dang, pesky murders that seem to crop up at the most inconvenient times.


When Mrs. Shelby Bell, or Hells Bells as Claire calls her, invites Dan and Claire to the Bell Sands on the shores of the Mississippi, they decide to turn it into a second honeymoon. As we find out, this is one honeymoon they won’t forget, since it involves the redneck mafia; a beauty pageant; a contestant who takes her interviewing cues straight out of “Basic Instincts”; a former pageant member bent on revenge and a hurricane named Babe.  Dan and Claire already think they are in over their heads, could it get any worse? Of course it can and it does.


I found the mystery aspects in REDNECK RIVIERA interesting. At first when I read the words “Redneck Mafia” I had to laugh, I just didn’t know what to expect, maybe a mystery of who killed Bubba with the loaded can of Miller Light, or who stole the concrete brick holding up the abandoned Ford that crushed Melvin while he was napping. I still don’t know if they are a real gang, but the author pulls it off, there are enough twists and turns to appease the mystery reader and for those who like the added sexual characteristics to their mysteries, Ms. Dunbar has added plenty of that as well. 


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